You’ve messed up—big time. As a result of your crimes, you may be looking at jail time.
Is there any way to minimize your time in jail and get probation and parole instead? Yes—it can be done.
It’s no secret that American jails are some of the most overcrowded in the world, and rehabilitated inmates are often let out early, as prisons often need to make room. If you do everything correctly, you can increase your chances of getting released early.
If you want to learn more about how you can reduce, or even eliminate, any jail time, keep reading.
Be a Model Inmate
It seems obvious, but to get the results you want from the probation and parole office, you need to do your time well.
If you’ve been sentenced to incarceration and are eligible for parole, the best chance of getting it is by being well-behaved in prison. Treat officers with respect, show up to all work assignments or classes on time, and avoid any fights or situations with other inmates.
The probation office will release inmates who will behave when released back into society, so you want to do everything it takes to tick all their boxes. It can be challenging to stay on your best behavior in such a stressful environment, but if you want to get released early, it’s what you need to do.
You may also be able to reduce jail time by learning a new skill. If your facility offers educational opportunities, it’s encouraged to take advantage.
Do you want to earn your GED, take college courses, or learn a new trade? If so, the parole board is sure to look favorably on someone who is working to better themselves.
Most federal and state prisons offer educational programs, allowing inmates to learn a new skill that will help them support themselves after release. These programs are available at no cost, so it makes sense to participate and learn as much as you can.
Plus, education often reduces the recidivism rate. People who are unemployed and qualified have a better chance of obtaining a good job after release and are less likely to return to a life of crime.
If your original crime was related to alcohol or drugs, such as a DUI, you should give up all substances and stay sober.
Working with a counselor or going along to support groups, like AA, always shows that you’re taking your sobriety seriously. If you can prove to the parole board that you’ve given up drinking and drugs, it shows that you’re genuine about recovering.
If your crime was a DUI, for example, and you give up alcohol, it also means that you’re less likely to re-offend. Also, it may become a condition of your parole or probation that you stay sober.
Consider Community Service
Are you willing to do community service? Sometimes, a judge can offer you the alternative or doing a set number of community service hours, which generally may range around 100-500.
Community service allows you to give back to others, working to clean up trash, help out in a hospital, or plant trees. You avoid jail time and the community is improved, so many legal systems consider it a good option for low-risk crimes.
Talk to your lawyer to see if they are able to advocate for community service on your behalf. Community service hours can usually be completed while you’re living at home.
Even if you may be required to account for your whereabouts by wearing an ankle monitor, it’s still much better than being incarcerated.
Take Your Parole Seriously
If you’re lucky enough to be released on parole or are assigned probation as an alternative to jail time, take it seriously.
This means showing up on time, or early, for every meeting with your probation officer, complying with all of the requirements of your parole, and finding employment.
If you violate your parole, you’re usually sent back to jail—and you’re not likely to get another chance soon. Make sure you completely understand all the conditions of your probation and parole so that you don’t make any mistakes.
Probation violations are taken extremely seriously. However, your probation officer should be able to answer any of your questions and help you prepare for success.
Hire the Right Lawyer
Perhaps the most important step to reduce your jail time is by hiring the right lawyer.
When you’re facing criminal charges, you need an expert lawyer who can advocate on your behalf. A good lawyer can help you avoid jail time and will do their best to ensure you get alternative sentences, such as community service or probation.
Not all lawyers are created equal, so you need to find an expert criminal lawyer who can get results. Research lawyers online, looking for those with the best possible track records.
Or, ask friends or family for recommendations. The legal system can be incredibly complex, so you need to find the right person who can help you navigate it.
Minimize Your Jail Time with Probation and Parole
It’s seriously scary to be facing jail time, but with the tips above, you’ll have the best chances of getting probation and parole instead.
You’ll need a good lawyer, a lot of motivation and willpower, and a desire to change your life, but it can be done! Get started today by finding the perfect lawyer who can represent you during your upcoming criminal proceedings.
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